Neighbors of the Gòtic are demanding that Barcelona City Council clarify the violent brawl between monitors of an esplai and municipal police that took place early Sunday morning in Plaça del Pi. Then, there, charges were made, two monitors were arrested, another seven identified... And two policemen suffered minor injuries. Both take responsibility for the altercation.
"The videos that run don't add up to us," says Eva Vila, from Fem Gòtic. It seems to us that the police action is disproportionate. They are 18-year-old boys who organize activities for the kids in the neighborhood. The Esplai del Pi is our cause, an entity with half a century”. "Here they are a benchmark for the education of values - tercia Martí Cusó, from the neighborhood association -. Every night we put up with a multitude of tourist parties, and we call the Urban Police and nothing ever happens, and for one day the kids from the neighborhood do something… The videos show enough indications of illegality to separate the agents and investigate everything”.
The esplai says that they set up a festive day for children and young people. “We had permission until two, and at that time everything was practically collected. So the police officers turned to two organizers to identify themselves, otherwise they would take them to the police station”. Some started recording everything. “They pull the arm of a mediator, and grab one of those who was recording by the neck. And another's hand and fingers are broken. Then the situation exploded and the charges against 15 people under 22 years of age began. The monitors also report that the policemen insulted and threatened them, pulled their hair and hit them in the stomach, and sprayed pepper spray on them. "On Friday we will demonstrate."
Meanwhile, neighborhood outrage grows. The Moviment de Centers d'Esplais Cristians de Catalunya posted a tweet to condemn the police action and support the monitors. This esplai is linked to the basilica of Santa Maria del Pi. This weekend they celebrated their 49th anniversary and the City Council has just awarded them the city's Medal of Honor.
The report, however, gives another version. The police say that the neighbors were complaining and that they agreed with the monitors for “one last song”, but that later they ignored them and on top of that they insulted them and threw cans. "An organizer pushed the agents to avoid identification," say municipal sources. Several agents were attacked from behind. They had to make use of their defenses, between throwing cans. Two people were arrested for attacking the authority, and two agents assisted for minor injuries.
The mayor of Ciutat Vella, Jordi Rabassa, also praised the work of the esplai. “It is fundamental in the Gòtic. The videos have left us worried. We have opened an internal investigation ex officio. We want to know what protocols were used.” The Councilor for Education, the also common Pau González, pointed out that "this cannot be repeated." The spokesman for the ERC group, the mayor Jordi Coronas, also calls for investigations. "It is a disproportionate performance, in a neighborhood where tourists roam freely every night."